Evey year, the last week-end of may is well cross-marked for all the aficionados of the Islay distillery : it is the Ardbeg day, or « how to celebrate with great pomp our annual release ». After a disappointing Galileo, a disappointing Ardbog and a consensual Auriverdes, it is time to know if this Perpetuum confirms the (bad) direction choosen by Bill Lumsden…
Nose : it doesn’t start like a peat monster. We smell dried straw, grains but also a large dose of dried fruits (pecan, hazelnut). It rather quickly becomes medicinal with a green tendency (eucalyptus, camphor) above oyster shells. We also feel a slightly metallic note which establishes itself. It’s not bad or more accurately it wouldn’t be bad if its juvenile nature wasn’t so exuberant : apples, pears, vanilla. The opening brings lemon and a bit of licorice. Well-conceived, risk-free, but it’s not astounding so far. We’ll appreciate, nevertheless, the freshness of the ensemble.
Mouth : it’s more « ardbegian » with this ashes-rubber mix which suddenly comes on the mouth front. We feel a dryness (straw, dried fruits perceived at the nose) before rapidly going on the lemon, the cold stone, the iodic seaweeds, the grey pepper and, unfortunately for us, still these ostentatious signs of youth : apples, pears, vanilla. A predictable mouth, not disagreeable but without charisma.
Finish : it’s medium, between the medicinal peat and the chemical smoke with lemon. The aftertaste is more sober with more lemon, a hazelnut return and this chemical smoke.